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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Nov 24, 2009 12:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: JGB new release

Good point Elbow,about Jerry not being a "spotlight" hog in solo project endeavors.He did give his bandmates ample room to contribute.In the band with Hopkins at times it seemed like Nicky's band,which is why I don't care for that version of the JGB,coupled with the fact that I find Nicky's style a little to rock oriented for my taste.In the JGB I really liked Keith and later on Ozzie Allers.Ozzie was really talented but he played that awful,cheesy sounding keyboard,but that was still better than annoying gospel drivel Melvin Seals was going to subject us to for 15 years or so. Interesting question about the keyboard slot Mr. Beard,simple answer,Keith was unmatched.

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Poster: jerrys beard Date: Nov 24, 2009 1:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: JGB new release

Even in this release, you can see that Nicky does all the "narration", tending to point to the suggestion that it is his band, something that I hadn't considered, but that has merit. There are couple of Nicky compositions on the release as well, Pig's Boogie and Edward...both of which I enjoy, but which most naturally feature Nicky, not Jerry. It does make me wonder if Jerry enjoyed playing that role at times, given his stated dislike for being the "leader of the band."

Of the Dead keyboardists, I certainly found Keith to be the best by far, but his inability to consistently be a major contributor to the improvisational nature diminished his value in my way of thinking. I believe what I'm trying to say is that he started strong but didn't stay the course.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Nov 24, 2009 2:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: JGB new release

I bet Jerry totally enjoyed just being able to rip it up instead of leading the band through the song! Just like a great part of the reason I love Bobby songs is what Jerry does with them because he's not busy singing!

Pre-hiatus, Keith's playing is superb and super complementary. Post-hiatus, I can hear him less and less until fall '78 where he's really falling out of the mix with the GD. It is less enjoyable to listen to this time period because it just seems like something is missing, though the rest of the band was on quite often.

I think this brings up an interesting JGB and GD comparison because Keith G was playing quite well with JGB at the same time that (IMO) he was really starting to suck it up with the GD. See 10-28-78 JGB for what some say is a peak for the Jerry's band in the Keith-on-keyboards era.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Nov 24, 2009 4:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: JGB new release

In response to Jerry's Beard and deadpolitics,all valid points and well taken.As far as Keith's role in the post hiatus decline of the bands improvisational skills,I think that was a band wide problem,not something Keith created.As far as I'm concerned after 74' they were a shadow of themselves.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Nov 24, 2009 4:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: JGB new release

Good point on the decline being the whole band's issue. To me, Keith was the most obvious "symptom" of this decline because his flourishes are glaringly absent. The decline in clarity of Jerry's vocal is first noticeable to me in '78 as well. And Bob started playing slide...

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Nov 24, 2009 2:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: JGB new release

I had never heard any JGB from '75 until I finally joined btree.org this summer. Jerry's tone (the fattest I ever heard from any year of JGB) is so clear and his playing is so eloquent. There is very little of the "shredding" more-note-per-minute technique that he started appplying more in the later 70's and early 80's. To me, every note just has more purpose and intention put behind it in these earlier years.

Nicky Hopkins is a beast on the keyboards and very present in the mix - more than pretty much all other keyboards I've heard with Jerry. Ron Tutt brings a nice heavy drumming style to the affairs.